meagan&amy – Concert Review


On April 19th, NOCCA presented its last concert of the season that showcased a young local trio and a more mature Canadian duo.

Just minutes before the show was to begin, a power outage affecting a wide swath of Vernon postponed the concert. In fact, we were all ushered into the foyer where we waited with bated breath, crossed fingers and toes in hopes that the powers that be, aka, B.C.Hydro, could remedy the situation before too long. If not, the concert would have been cancelled. To the great relief and delight of everyone, the electricity was restored and we were treated to a truly exquisite presentation well worth the extended delay.

The opening by the Barbaza Trio of siblings, was well received. Henry, on cello, Benjamin, on cello, and Lenna, on violin, are accomplished young musicians who are composed and highly focused. They treated the audience to four works that showcased their combined talents ending with a flowing and vibrant interpretation of Ravel’s Allegra from Trio No.1 played beautifully with harmonious blends of the instrumental voices. These young musicians have established themselves and will make a mark on future musical endeavours in Vernon and beyond.

The featured artists, Meagan Milatz, on piano and Amy Hills on violin, offered a magnificent performance that awed concertgoers. Their offerings were coupled works; classical pieces contrasted by modern pieces inspired by the classical work in the coupling. The performance opened with a Mozart Sonata followed by the commissioned work of Winnipeg composer, Jocelyn Morlock. “Alba” which means dawn or sunrise and also represents the Alberti Bass of Mozart’s Sonata, where bass notes of the chord are broken, “creating a carpet foundation to the piece.” The music was evocative and created imagery of the early morning as the world awakened. Both musicians were dynamic and one with the music and their instruments completing the piece with a full sunrise.

Amy and Meagan were both energetic and sensitive in their presentation. The interplay between the duo was delightful to behold. Their body language was dramatic and was demonstrative of their passion for both classical and contemporary music that held together across their entire performance. Their technical expertise was in alignment with the difficulty of the music. This promises that they are and will be a duo who commands respect and place on the world chamber music stage.

We would like to thank NOCCA for their role in recognizing, promoting and bringing such incredible music to Vernon. We look forward to next season’s concert series and encourage everyone to attend.

Review by Gerry Sholomenko and Shannon Marsh.

Classical Valley Concerts in May 2023:

Meagan Milatz (piano) will be returning to the Okanagan in May to play a selection of piano quartets from France and Spain with Violaine Melançon (violin), Marina Thibeault (viola) and Nicholas Denton Protsack (cello). The Venue is Vernon Community Music School’s Carriage House at 7:30 pm Tuesday May 16th. Tickets are $30 each (students $15). More information on this and other concerts in the Classical Valley series can be found at


We would like to make a correction to an ad that appeared in the concert’s printed programme which stated the Vernon Community Band presents “Sounds For Spring” on Saturday May 12th, 2023 at 2pm. This is incorrect, May 12th, 2023 is a Friday! The concert is actually being held 2pm Saturday May 13, 2023 at Trinity United Church, admission by donation. There will be an onsite bake sale, coffee and tea.

2023/24 NOCCA Season:

Tickets will go on sale soon for NOCCA’s 2023/24 concert series for those wishing to become new season subscribers or wanting to purchase single concert tickets. Links to purchase season subscriptions or single concert tickets will be provided from our website as soon as they are available on ticketseller.

Existing season ticket subscribers will be receiving renewal notices directly from ticketseller, and all renewals need to be confirmed by May 31st, 2023.

Information about the 2023/24 season can be found on NOCCA’s website

The first concert is on Tuesday September 12. 2023 featuring pianist Jaeden Isak-Dzurko. We look forward to seeing you there!